Is it morally right to believe in God just for practical benefits? Why or why not?

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It is morally permissible to believe in God just because it is to your practical advantage to believe, but in most circumstances it is not possible to do so.

This is the subject of Pascal's Wager, on which more information is attached below. Essentially, Pascal argued that, if the Christian...

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position is that those who believe in God go to heaven, and those who do not go to hell, then it is sensible to believe in God. If you are right, you are rewarded with heaven and escape hell. If you are wrong, you suffer no disadvantage.

There are many objections to this formulation, and it is possible that the great philosopher was joking. However, none of the objections are moral. The objection to believing untrue things is practical: if you think something is untrue, then you do not believe it. You might act as though you believe something because it is to your advantage, but if the advantage is the only reason for this, then you do not in fact hold the belief in question.

You can prove this to yourself with a very simple thought experiment. Imagine that you would like to take a vacation, and think of the place in the world where you would most like to be: Paris or Bermuda or Bali. Now try to believe that you are there. You would like to be there, so it would be to your advantage to believe it. However, you cannot believe that you are not in the place where you know you are or that you are in a place where you know you are not.

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